I disagree with this analysis of "The Storm" because it portrays Calixta and Alcée as having a necessary tryst. Do you agree or disagree?Chopin wrote of something that was not publicly discussed....

I disagree with this analysis of "The Storm" because it portrays Calixta and Alcée as having a necessary tryst. Do you agree or disagree?

Chopin wrote of something that was not publicly discussed. The relationship between Calixta and Alcée brought out a spark of passion that was not present in their marriages. Calixta was scared of the storm but Alcée's calmness relaxed her physically. Emotionally it brought out her sexuality that was kept dormant from her younger years. When Alcée embraced her after lightning and thunder hit, it reminded her of the passion and love she once had for Alcée. It was as though her sexuality was driven by nature. The storm was brewing outside and leaving destruction in its path, like the bruise she put on her marriage by having the affair with Alcée.

The focus is on her vivacious body after Alcée not seeing her for five years and becomes entranced in it. Calixta's husband seemed not to look at her the same way Alcée did. When the narrator said "The rain was over and the sun was turning the glistening green world into a palace of gems," it symbolized that they both had new outlooks on their marriages. Calixta was able to take her affair and use it to her advantage by helping her remember what a sexual person she once was. This metaphor could also mean, since the rain was the passion they had, and the world was their perception of both their marriages. The story ending with the quote "So the storm passed and every one was happy" symbolizes that Calixta and Alcée were happy to have the affair since it helped their marriages and both spouses would know nothing of the affair.

Asked on by oldcastle

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mrs-campbell | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

The great thing about analyzing literature and forming opinions about its themes is that you are free to disagree about what the author is trying to say--literature is a way for us to shape our opinions and help us to meditate and ponder our own beliefs.

The critic's opinion above does reflect what can be found in the actual text of the story--the tryst does nothing but have a positive impact in the lives of all of the characters.  It makes Calixta, normally an "over-scrupulous housewife" that is filled with dissatisfaction and anxiety, relaxed, happy, and filled with laughter.  She treats her husband and son with love and affection, and Alcee goes away from the tryst "beaming," and happier than he has been for a long time.  So, Chopin is definitely making a point there, and that point is that for Calixta and Alcee, and possibly for many other women, fulfillment and happiness can be found in a situation like that.  The fact that Chopin makes that point does not mean that you need to agree with it, however.  I personally disagree with it; I feel that if you are discontented with your lot, make your lot better within the confines of morality and goodness.  So, you are free to disagree with her point.

Also, your question stated that it was a "necessary" tryst.  I do not agree with that premise. Maybe it was a "helpful" tryst, or a "satisfying" tryst, but it was not necessary.  No one required it of the two characters, no one forced them to do it, no one made them.  It was their choice.  If she was unhappy, she could have done other things to find satisfaction, she just didn't.  She chose to have the affair as a way to find relief.  Necessary implies force, or having to do something for survival, like eating or drinking, and that is not the case with the tryst--there have to be better ways to describe it.  I hope that those thoughts helped; good luck!

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